Alex Willert, Choir Director: From the day Alex was born, he’s been immersed in the world of the most competitive show choirs. He’s been directing them since he was a one-year-old. Believe it or not, that is not an exaggeration. Alex is a Brea native who has been performing as long as he can remember. He performed with Stagelight Family Productions for over a decade of his childhood, worked to build the United Choirs of Brea as a student and went on to perform with the Walt Disney Company for 8 more years. His training with Stagelight and the Brea Choirs prepared him well for a life of performing professionally and Disney gave him many opportunities and took him a number of places (television programs, Rose Parades, and even a year in Japan). However, after his time abroad, Alex realized that he’d rather go back to the community he loved and help to prepare the students to continue to succeed in the arts. Alex received his degree in music education from Chapman University and has also studied at California State University Fullerton and University of California Berkeley. Although each experience helped him become the educator he is today, Alex considers his most valuable education to be the one he received from his father (Dave Willert) and Doug Kuhl from the time he was born. Alex looks forward to keeping the strong tradition of Brea’s choir program alive for many years to come!
Eric Hendrickson, Music:
Doug Kuhl, Choreographer:Doug Kuhl not only choreographs all of the shows for BOHS Choir, but also works together with Alex Willert to create a vision for the competition sets that have enabled Brea Olinda High School to be known at a national level for their incredible creativity. From costumes to set design to collaborating with Dave on song selections, he always pushes the United Choirs of Brea into something spectacular. Doug studied art and drawing in college and draws excellent portraits of people. They don’t come much more artistic than Doug. He also spent almost ten years working at Disneyland in a wide variety of capacities in the Entertainment Division including teaching professional educational workshops for both music and drama to groups from all over the world. Doug’s positive attitude and spirit are passed on to the choir kids and we all get to share in his talents!
Kurt Nielsen, Performance Coach: A Jack of all Trades, Kurt can be found contributing to the overall picture of each and every choir performance (just ask the tap and ballet dancers), be it a competitive set, concert, student inspired video, or even performance art in the quad! Dancing since age five, Kurt grew up in the theater, eventually studying at UC Irvine, receiving a BA in Fine Arts. Following his sister’s tap shoes, he auditioned for Disneyland. His Disney career took him to several shows at the Hollywood Bowl, on national tours and to Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland, performing such varied roles in shows and events as lovable chimney sweeps, one-armed pirates, dragonslaying princes, apple planting pioneers and wicked stepmothers. That led to a “marvelous” career at Universal Studios Hollywood portraying shield slinging Avengers, magnetic mutants and terminating robots in shows and film. Besides coaching, Kurt directs, choreographs and produces theatrical productions for several high schools and performance schools. He also finds the time to appear in films and television. Kurt’s approach to the overall success of BOHS Choir is firm, but fun!
Retired 2016, Dave Willert: Dave is an unstoppable force of energy and artistry. Dave has been recognized nationally as a leader in show choir and recently made the cover of Choral Director Magazine. Dave is also featured in a recently released book, Sweat, Tears, and Jazz Hands: The Official History of Show Choir. Dave has spent 35 years as choir director. Dave’s incredible talent allowed BOHS to become a innovative presence in the show choir competition circuit with his choirs giving performances that consistently rank among the top of national competitions. An author and composer (Dimensions book series, musical groups Pengelum and Dave & Doug), this California native (he grew up in Glendora and studied at Citrus College and the University of Redlands) comes from an energetic, do-it-yourself background and always took care to instill those values in his students. Dave’s immeasurable talent to get an incredible sound from his students and his ability to take show choir to a whole new level of entertainment is a hallmark of his years at Brea Olinda! We are so lucky to have had Dave’s expert guidance for the United Choirs of Brea all these years!